17.3% Turnover of Targeted CEO’s, President’s, VP’s of Marketing and Sales

Happy mid-September everyone!

I recently decided to scrub my database to make sure I didn’t have bad contact information.

I have a few thousand executives who I regularly market to.

My target executives are CEO’s, President’s, Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing and Head’s of Demand Generation.

Not exactly entry-level workers.

So we did a recent cleansing and cross-referenced LinkedIn, undeliverables and bounce backs.

Guess what? 17.3% of these executives are gone! This list of names was compiled less than 3 years ago!

Several years ago, I did a data scrubbing and between 19-21% executives had changed positions or moved on.

Either the company was acquired, went out of business or merged. And the executive either changed positions, quit, was terminated or retired.

This is a good economy we are talking about. Not 2008!

What’s the lesson here?

If someone told you “No” in the past, there’s a 20% chance that person is longer there. Do a little bit of research and see if that executive is still with the company.

According to AdAge, the average tenure of a Chief Marketing Officer is about 4 years. About the same as a presidential term.

Regularly scrub your database and get rid of bad data. In both good and bad economies, people move around a lot.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Early Labor Day everyone!

I received a well-written email from a potential provider this week asking for some of my time.

I ignored it.

The CEO sent another email and I responded. We went back and forth and I agreed to a demo.

After I agreed to a demo, he emailed me 4 questions, which I graciously answered.

The calendar invite was sent out, I accepted it and thought I wouldn’t hear from them until the scheduled time.

WRONG!

The CEO’s direct report then reached out to me asking me to fill out a 2-minute survey.

I get what he was trying to do but it was a bit too much, especially when they reached out to me initially.

I politely declined the survey and shared with him I had already answered the CEO’s 4 questions.

Folks, don’t over qualify your prospects and don’t make them jump through several hoops! Especially when you made the first contact.

Now if I had originally reached out to this company FIRST, I would understand them wanting additional information before moving forward so they didn’t waste their time or they could assign the appropriate rep.

Make the buying decision experience as smooth and easy as possible.

And if you pre-researched your prospect in advance, you shouldn’t have to ask several questions once they agree to a demo.

Wait for the discovery call to ask these questions when you can chat live with them, not via email.

Have a great holiday weekend!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Cheers!

Video In Case You Have A Bout of Insomnia

Happy March Madness everyone!

My team, the Kansas Jayhawks, got knocked out early in the NCAA tournament, which was not exactly a surprise.

This post today will be very short.

I was recently asked by a facilitator at Johnson County Community College to give a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners on sales prospecting and lead generation.

The video is long and about 1.5 hours.

Here’s the link so please enjoy!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000

A Blog Post About Blogs and Blogging

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I came across this article yesterday.

Apparently, there are more than 440 million blogs in the world!

For comparison’s sake, there were 325.7 million people living in the USA as of 2017.

That’s more than 1 blog per man, woman, and child in the United States! Yikes!

Is blogging important? Depends on what kind of business you’re in.

I, myself, subscribe to numerous blogs. I consume them but have never bought from several thought leaders who have quality content. Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt and others come to mind. Top notch thought leaders who provide lots of content marketing, but I’ve yet to invest in their products or services.

I’m not saying that blogs aren’t important and that you shouldn’t have one.

With attention spans at a premium and executives are dealing with severe information overload, how do you stand out?

Unless you have gobs of money to spend like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants, how do you compete?

Can you trace a new client or sale directly to a blog post(s) you created?

If not, should you keep blogging? It’s a rhetorical question of course but I hope it makes you think before blogging.

What’s the end game? To get more clients? Look more credible? Be a thought leader?

None of these are bad but with the sheer volume of blogs out there, does it make sense to continue doing so just because everyone else is doing it?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for reading my blog.

Another Reason To Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full

Happy mid-summer everyone!

4 more weeks to go until school starts. (But who’s counting?)

This summer has flown by quickly. Usually June, July, and August are slow until after Labor Day.

The economy has picked up and I’m thankful to have added 2 new reps this summer.

Quick story: A fractional CFO reached out to me a few months ago. He was a consultant for a 16-month client of mine. He listened in on calls, knew our track record and results, etc.

He was consulting for another healthcare startup company. We had multiple conversations with him and the CEO and if I was in Vegas, betting it would be a client, I would have bet highly with the odds in my favor.

He was a referral, he worked closely with the Sales VP at my client, etc. Referrals tend to move forward at a higher rate.

He requested a proposal and brought it to the board. One of the board members put the brakes on the process because he had a local resource who specialized in calling on healthcare organizations.

The prospect ended up going with them and let me know by phone.

A “yes” is better than “no”. “No” is better than silence and prospects avoiding you.

Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up. Verbal deals are never a sure thing until they are signed!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

 

 

Sales Conversation Triggers and Book Giving

Happy December everyone!

This year has flown by quickly. I haven’t blogged in a while so as the holidays descend upon us, I thought I’d share a quick tip.

I’m an avid reader, with a Nook reader from Barnes and Noble with the Amazon Kindle app on the device.

I recently finished Paul Falcone’s book “96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire”.

It had been on my reading list for quite some time and I always want to improve my hiring skills.

A while back, I chatted with a CEO by phone, then we had lunch in person and we chatted some more by phone a few weeks later.

He mentioned that he made a couple of offers to some sales reps but the job candidates ended up getting counteroffers from their existing employer and decided to stay.

(This blog post is NOT about whether or not you should accept a counteroffer.  That’s a whole blog post in itself.)

Paul Falcone’s book addressed how to handle counteroffers in advance and not waiting till making a job offer to get blindsided by it.

He had some good suggestions to get counteroffer opportunities out in the open early rather than be surprised later on.

So as the CEO shared with me, I thought of the book. I told him about it and said I’d have it mailed to his office and to keep an eye out.

Last Friday, I met with the CEO and 6 of his staff and he had the book in his hand showing everyone.

Moral of the story: be alert to what your prospects are going through outside of what you’re trying to get them to agree to and add value. The book was less than $20, including shipping.

I strongly recommend you read the book if you hire people regularly.

In the meantime, I wish you a Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

May you end 2017 well!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000

How Paying Attention To A LinkedIn Connection Led To New Client

Happy June everyone!

In December 2016, I reached out to the CEO of a technology company here in the Kansas City metro.

I sent him a creative marketing box from the Little Book That Sells.

Here’s the link to the past blog post I wrote on it: http://www.connect5000.com/another-creative-lead-generation-idea-to-get-into-targeted-companies/

The CEO gave the box to the VP of Marketing. The VP of Marketing reached out to me and we exchanged several emails.

Then the VP of Marketing connected me to one of her direct reports.

The direct report and I had a few conversations by phone but the end result was a no.

No problem. That happens all the time.

I’m a big advocate and fan of LinkedIn. A few weeks ago, I noticed that this direct report was no longer with the company. She had moved on to another position which is typical.

So I found the previous email exchange with the Marketing VP, reached back out and set up a time to meet in person.

We discussed their needs and they were open to using us.

Long story short, we came to an agreement and we both signed off on a proposal.

Moral of the story: pay attention to your LinkedIn feed. The prospect who told you “No” may no longer be with that particular company and you may be able to get back in the door and get a “Yes”.

Short Story On Why Never To Burn Bridges

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a great holiday.

I keep in touch with people I work with, both clients Connect 5000 has partnered with as well as people I’ve hired to work for Connect 5000.

A few years ago, I was the acting director of sales for a software company in California. We parted ways in 2014 and I kept in touch with a few of their staff after working together for about 9 months.

One gal, who was a solid inside sales rep, left the company and we kept in touch from time to time.

This past February, the timing was perfect and I hired her to work for me at Connect 5000. She accepted the offer, signed the offer letter and she was to start the following Monday. Long story short, she called me a few hours later and said that another company she had interviewed with, finally called her back and that she wouldn’t be working for me after all because it was a better fit for her.

I was mildly disappointed, to say the least, and we talked by phone and she explained her reasoning. I understood and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I wasn’t irritated after our conversation ended.

A few hours later after I had time to think about things, I texted and emailed her and wished her the best of success. I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from her anytime soon.

A few months later, she reached out to me. She was with another start up and they needed some sales consulting and advice. She introduced me to her CEO. After a few conversations between the 3 of us, the company hired me to consult with them and I’m working with my old associate, but in a different way I didn’t expect.

I know I’m stating the obvious but if you make an offer to someone you’ve interviewed and they turn it down for whatever reason, it’s okay to be hurt, disappointed or even angry. Just don’t stay there. Wish them well and move on. You never know where they are going to land and if you end things on a positive note, it could provide additional revenue opportunities for you and your company.

Creative Lead Generation Idea (On the High End Price Range)

Happy March everyone!

March Madness has begun! I’m hoping my KU Jayhawks go far in the tournament. Final 4 or bust!

I recently read John Ruhlin’s book “Giftology”.

This short book was on the art and science of using gifts to cut through the noise and clutter of life to open conversations, generate referrals and boost sales revenue.

One idea that I liked and plan to experiment in is this:

Send a prospect an embroidered knife or knife set with their name on it in gift wrapping and ask them this simple question: “Can we carve out some time to talk?”

For you skeptics and cynics out there, when was the last time you received a knife from a prospect?

Well then, I rest my case.

You can get a classy knife from Cutco, embroidered and gift wrapped for around $100 or so.

Is this idea for everyone? Of course not.

BUT, if you have a high average sale price, send out a few to some hard to reach prospects, and follow up later on by phone or email.

Just one new client will probably pay for this investment.

Is this guaranteed to work? Is anything? Of course not.

Try this different way to get into the door of hard to reach executives and let me know how your results are.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

Sneaky Sales Email Tip of the Day

(Disclaimer: I was not compensated in anyway to promote this service. I pay my monthly subscription with my own funds.)

Ever wonder if the email you sent to a client, prospect, colleague, or friend actually made it to their inbox and that they actually opened and read it?

Well, say no more! Problem solved!

In August 2016, I signed up for Bananatag and am a big fan of their service. Their website is www.bananatag.com and I pay $12.50 per month.

In a nutshell, when you send someone an email, whether personal or business, it sends you an email notification when the recipient opens your email or clicks a link if there’s one inside the email.

So what? Who cares? Sound a little too big brotherish for you? Here’s why it’s helpful.

When prospecting or making sales calls: send an email first. If the email address is valid, it notifies you that the email address is legitimate and you don’t have to worry about if it hit their spam filter or if the email address is wrong, assuming they opened the email, no matter how briefly it was.

You can then call them later on and follow up by telephone and have a multi-touch campaign going.

There are plenty of similar services out there. I don’t know of any service that guarantees your email won’t hit their spam folder.

If they clicked on your website embedded in your email, you know.

If they clicked on your LinkedIn profile in your email, you know.

No service is 100% accurate. If you’re looking for perfection, stop it! It also won’t tell you how long they read your email, etc. They may open it, you get notified, but they delete it and never read it.

I’ve sent emails to people and they respond back and I didn’t get a notification. That’s okay. Move on!

If you send a proposal to a prospect or an email to an existing client, the majority of the time, you’ll get notified.

It’s nice so that you don’t have to wonder if they received an email or not, or if you had the correct email address. Peace of mind for $12.50 a month.